Accession Number:

ADP204431

Title:

Lithospheric Profiles in Western North America,

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

TEXAS UNIV AT EL PASO DEPT OF GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Report Date:

1995-08-14

Pagination or Media Count:

8.0

Abstract:

As we move toward a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty for nuclear weapons, it has become increasingly clear that detailed knowledge of lithospheric structure is necessary to verification efforts. Key seismic phases which are being used as discriminants Pn, Pg, Lg, etc. to identify suspicious seismic signals travel exclusively in the lithosphere and are thus much affected by its structure. However, the studies needed to acquire detailed knowledge of lithospheric structure require large explosions, recorded by hundreds of seismograph systems. In the former Soviet Union, a series of Peaceful Nuclear Explosions PNE were exploded to provide such data. There have been very few PNE in the U.S., and these experiments took place in the 1960s and 1970s long before there were large numbers of digital seismograph systems available to provide detailed recordings. Thus, these few PNE events do not provide detailed pictures of lithospheric structure and propagation of regional phases and cannot serve as effective benchmarks for comparison with other continents. Large chemical explosions can provide suitable sources for lithospheric experiments as proven by the EARLY RISE experiment in the Great Lakes region in the 1960s and the recent Non-Proliferation Experiment at the Nevada Test site NTS . However, we have not had an opportunity to conduct a large-scale lithospheric experiment with modern equipment except with NTS sources. The UTEP geophysics group has been conducting a series of investigations in the southwestern U.S. The most recent was undertaken in the summer of 1995 and is the closest thing to a PNE experiment that we will see taking place outside of NTS for the foreseeable future.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Geology, Geochemistry and Mineralogy
  • Seismology
  • Seismic Detection and Detectors
  • Nuclear Weapons

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE